"Other holidays repose in the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future." - Julius Morton

 

The founder of Arbor Day, Julius Sterling Morton, was born in New York, married in Michigan, and moved to the Nebraska Territory in 1854, with his wife, Caroline. Starting the Nebraska City News, Morton was also a political leader, and a staunch conservationist. As  editor of the newspaper, Morton strongly encouraged the planting of trees. He espoused the benefits of trees for their fuel, as windbreaks, and for shading homes from the strong prairie sun.

The first Arbor Day celebration in 1872, was celebrated with a parade, speeches, and the planting of more than 1 million trees. In 1970, President Nixon designated the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day. Since then, the popularity of Arbor Day has spread to at least 36 other countries.

Today, we know that trees not only do all of what Julius Morton said they did, but they also help alleviate depression, lower blood pressure, and can raise home values. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, reduce erosion, and provide habitats for birds and insects.

Here are several suggestions to celebrate Arbor Day:

**Make Arbor Day the celebration of the future by planting a tree with your spouse, children or grandchildren.

**If you don't have a yard of your own, donate a tree to a place of worship, community center, nursing home, or park.

**Donate your time to help others plant a tree. It may be your neighbor, school, or arboretum that needs your help.

**Plan a visit to the Arbor Day Tree Far by clicking http://www.arbordayfarm.org/

**Take a walk and breathe deeply. Whether just around the block or in the local park, take the time to observe the beauty and grandeur of trees.